of nomenclature leaves no possibility of mistake or confusion which might arise from a different appreciation of descriptive terms. The typical locality always remains for study, comparison, and reference, and there need be no difference of opinion or discussion as to what was intended by the use of any one of the terms. The progress of geological science in the country is greatly indebted to this system of nomenclature, and to the absolute working out of the succession of the groups, and the members of the same, to which this system of nomenclature has been applied.
At the final meeting of the Geological Board the adoption of the term "New York System" was considered imperative, because of the impossibility of harmonizing the formations here known with those of Europe. In the adoption of the names of rocks and groups—the nomenclature as now known—there was scarcely a dissenting voice, and the names as then adopted were published in the final reports, and have become the nomenclature of the science in America.
As the field-work of the survey approached completion, the question of publication became a matter of deep interest to every one connected with the work. The incumbents in each one of the departments were desirous of publishing their work in octavo, that the results of the survey might appear in a convenient form, and become hand-books for students in science. This plan, however, was overruled by Governor Seward and his advisers, who considered it due to the dignity and importance of the State of New York that the volumes should be published in quarto form, especially as they were to be presented to other States and foreign governments as emblematical of the greatness of the State. Governor Seward himself wrote an introduction of nearly two hundred pages to the first published volume of the work (Zoölogy—Mammalia) in 1842. This volume was followed by others in the same year. The geological reports were all completed in 1843, and the last volume of Zoölogy, that upon the birds of the State, by Dr. De Kay, was published in 1844.
In 1842 Mr. Conrad resigned his position as paleontologist of the survey without communicating any report to the Governor, and the four geologists who had expected to avail themselves of the results of his investigations were left to their own resources. In this state of affairs each one of the geologists illustrated his own report, as best he could, by figures of characteristic fossils of the rocks and groups which he had studied in his own district. By this means a very considerable number of the more common and characteristic fossils were illustrated in woodcuts, which were printed in the text, thus giving authentic guides for the determination of all the more important members of the series.
- The work thus completed embraced the following subjects: botany, two quarto volumes; zoölogy, five quarto volumes; mineralogy, one quarto volume; geology, four quarto volumes, of each and all of which three thousand copies were published.